Thursday, December 6, 2007

Romney Blew It

I watched Romney's "Faith in America" speech.

It was mercifully short, it was decent and there was no point in Romney giving it.

As Romney said in advance, it wasn't a JFK-esque speech. So why give it? In essence all he said is that there should be no religious test for president, and we should follow the separation of church and state as designed by the founders:

We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust.

We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from 'the God who gave us liberty.'

Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage. Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: the equality of human kind, the obligation to serve one another, and a steadfast commitment to liberty?

The Associated Press reported Romney's speech under the headline, "No religious test for president:"
Republican Mitt Romney, confronting voters' skepticism about his Mormon faith, declared Thursday that as president he would "serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause," and said calls for him to explain and justify his religious beliefs go against the profound wishes of the nation's founders.
So if you aren't going to talk about your religion, why give a speech about your religion.

Romney would have better off not giving any speech related to his faith. All he accomplished was to reinforce the fact that that he is Mormon.

You can read the entire speech in the extended post at California Yankee.

Romney's speech should have been JFK-esque. In Kennedy's famous speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, he said:
I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters — and the Church does not speak for me.
Kennedy also asked whether one-quarter of Americans were relegated to second-class citizenship just because they were Catholic.

You can find the Kennedy speech here.

No comments: